TURANDOT - THE NATIONAL OPERA & BALLET
OF ODESSA UKRAINE
March 2, 2024
Toon Hermans Theater
Mgr. Claessensstraat 2, Sittard
March 3, 2024
Spuiplein 150, Den Haag
by Giacomo Puccini
an Opera in three acts
Libretto in Italian by Giuseppe Adami and Renato Simoni
Based on an old Persian fairy tale and its commedia dell'arte retelling by Carlo Gozzi "Turandot" (1762).
World premiere on April 26, 1926 at La Scala Milan.
Duration of the performance is 2.45 hours including two intermissions.
Turandot is the last opera by Giacomo Puccini and inspired by the 13th century Persian fairy tale of the same name. The Persian word Turandot means daughter of Turan, a region of Central Asia. The world-famous and beloved composer Puccini died in 1924, leaving behind the unfinished composition. There were also notes and clues for developing the last two, missing parts. The sick Puccini had described this in detail before his death so that someone else could finish the big project. The younger composer Franco Alfano finished the piece on the basis of these notes.
The ancient, oriental fairy tale has inspired several great artists to turn it into a concert or performance. The 19th-century Romantic composer Carl Maria Von Weber wrote a Turandot Overture. The committed German theatre pioneer Bertolt Brecht wrote a Turandot play in 1953. The Italian contemporary composer Luciano Berio wrote a new finale for Puccini's masterpiece in 2001 in which Turandot is presented much more humanly.
With Turandot, Puccini has surpassed himself as one of the most important opera composers. Turandot has been widely praised as a special, moving and high-quality work of art with beautiful arias and duets. As an opera jewel, it is part of the repertoire of only established, large opera houses that can afford to have the demanding parts performed by large voices.
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini comes from a family of musicians in Lucca, northern Italy. He loses his father at a young age and without a breadwinner, the Puccini family with seven children struggles. There was no money for a real music education, but with the help of the pastor and because of the family tradition, he continues to take piano lessons. When he experiences Verdi's opera Aïda, he is so impressed that he decides to write operas as well.
Through the intercession of a lady-in-waiting, the 20-year-old receives a scholarship from the Queen to study at the Milan Conservatory. He receives composition lessons from Ponchielli, who pushes his talent towards the opera. He graduates and writes a few operas, although he is not successful. With Manon Lescaut, the stormy success began and Puccini captured the hearts of the worldwide opera audience. He became world famous and acclaimed after extremely successful operas such as Manon Lescaut, La Bohème, Tosca and Madame Butterfly.
As a composer with celebrity status, much has been published about his eventful life, including scandals such as a false accusation by his wife about his alleged extramarital affair with their maid. At the end of his life, Giacomo suffered from an aggressive form of throat cancer. He had been working on the ambitious Turandot project for many years and stayed in Brussels for a successful operation. Not long after, however, his heart gave out.
Puccini developed into a globally loved artist for a variety of reasons. His work is extremely innovative and creative. We find in him poetic, effective orchestrations, moving, haunting vocals in a convincing dramatic context. Puccini's operas emphasize the human drama. The drama of the common man.